The Journey home begins! After the message last night, I did not sleep so well. I had made arrangements to get my small purse with the little bit of cash and the credit cards but until I have them in my hand, there is still concern. I certainly cannot leave the country without the cards because I will have to pay baggage charges on my return flight from Kisumu to Nairobi…I think.
After breakfast, Ederia, Jaman and I had a nice chat. They continued to tell me about their lives. Ederia had worked for the UN in Nairobi and even met Kofi Annan. Jaman had worked as a civil servant in several positions including seven years in Cairo, Egypt. They have a lovely home in Maragoli but the electricity went out last night and it still hasn’t come on. They have a lovely tiled bathroom but no running water so there are jerry cans of water for flushing and they still have to heat water for basin baths. Their furniture is “store bought” rather than the simple hand crafted things from the market. They have ornate furniture in the sitting room with much carving….perhaps Old English style? The dining room is more “modern” styling. In my small bedroom, there is a ‘fainting couch’. I could get used to one of those!!
They shared with me that they had lost a son fifteen years ago. He was only 29. It seems that most places I have been, they have understood my pain because of their own.
Kennedy Shiverenje took a matatu from Kaimosi to Majengo to bring the purse. He texted from Mbale to say it would be another 10 minutes. Ederia and I went out to get in the car which Jaman had put in the garage. The housegirl had put in a new seat cover and left the back door open. When Ederia backed out of the garage, the open door caught and was sprung. The housegirl tied it with twine but it didn’t hold so Ederia told a small boy to get in and hold the door closed as we went to Majengo. When we arrived, we were told by a newspaper seller that Kennedy had taken a picky-picky (motor bike ‘taxi’) to the house because the people at the junction had seen Jaman leave in the pickup truck and assumed we had no transport. SO…Kennedy was at the house and we were at the junction. I called him and he returned. Everything was intact. We had a short conversation and he returned to Cheptulu to visit someone from his church who is homebound.
We collected a mechanic who rode back to the house, holding the door. We got out and he took the vehicle to see if he could do some repairs to the door. We expect Jaman back in time to get me to the airport even if the car is not able to make it.
The hearing aid is not working today. One of my first errands back in Kokomo will be to get that taken care of …..or revert to “say again please”.
I arrived at the airport at 2 pm (7 am Greentown time) for my 4:05 flight only to find I have been bumped and am now on the 6:35 flight. At least I was able to charge my cell phone (so I can say a few more goodbyes while waiting at the airport in Nairobi) and could charge the computer but I probably won’t. The Nairobi/Amsterdam flight leaves at 10:40 so time should not be a problem.
The longer I am here, the fewer pictures I take. I am ready to come home. I am out of shillings. The hearing aid isn’t working. And I am tired. Since March 21 I have been a guest in seven homes, a conference center (Mabanga) and a Guesthouse (Rural Service). I have met with women from eleven Yearly Meetings. I have attended board meetings and a conference. I have preached and prayed my way around Western Province. I have visited old friends and made new ones. The next 36 hours will be very tiring as I travel to Kisumu, to Nairobi, to Amsterdam, to Detroit and to Indianapolis and then the final leg to Greentown.
P.S. All four flights were uneventful. All the baggage arrived with me. I did not have to pay any extra charges for luggage. Donna and Amber picked me up at the airport and we stopped to eat at MacDonald’s….the guy asked if we wanted to eat there and I said, “of course, we don’t want to miss the ambience!” We had a good time and I was home by 6 pm (Greentown time, 2 am Wed, Kenya time) on Tuesday . It had been 36 hours since Ederia and Jaman left me at Kisumu airport.
As I mentioned on Facebook….my little house welcomed me with blooming purple tulips, purple iris, purple wisteria, lilacs, the redbud tree, the magnolia and some creeping phlox. Nice to see all my “purples” flowering!
It was also very nice to hear the immigration/passport control agent in Detroit say “Welcome Home”. There really is no place like home.